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Like its precursor Name Unknown (1951), Girls Beware is a trilogy of tragedies brought about by teenage girls' attempts at independent behavior. Covers do's and don'ts in the babysitting situation. Develops the problem of the 'PICK UP' and the girls who go with boys that are too old.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Production Company: Davis (Sid) Productions
Audio/Visual: sound, b/w
Keywords: need keyword
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: Watch Out, Girls
Policewoman Norma Neufner narrates this film about the perils that face too-trusting teenage girls. Judy get a call from a stranger about a baby sitting job and ends up murdered. Elizabeth meets two older boys at a movie theatre and is raped. Mary goes out with older, unemployed Robert and ends up 'in trouble,' the fifties euphemism for pregnant. In each instance, the parents are the last to know. In Sid Davis's world, parents are unable to protect their children from the dangers that lurk in the suburban netherworld we see in his films. The fathers are usually absent and the mothers live isolated lives in dreary, postwar bungalows. Girls have to learn on their own how to protect themselves, not to open the door to strangers and to avoid too-friendly older boys.
It's easy to see why these girls could be so easily victimized. What does their environment really offer them? As is the case in its companion film, Boys Beware, the loneliness and longing for recognition on the part of the young victims is palpable. As the policeman narrator in Boys Beware tells us, these children are ensnared by the "companionship, praise and a friendly attitude." If these girls were getting the recognition from their parents and teachers that they need, they wouldn't be so susceptible to aimless boys in pick-up trucks.
Kashmir Page -
Subject: Can't resist...
Mary: What's the real reason vampires can't go out in sunlight.
Bob (takes off shirt): We sparkle!
These films are entertaining insomuch as they are so...dated! I wonder what their producers would think of the state of the world today.
Subject: "heartache and disaster"
The three (and a half) stories presented here of teenaged girls follow an interesting progression from solid to uncertain in the conclusions they draw.
First a girl who advertizes for babysitting work (at the supermarket!) goes off with a man she has never met before with noone else seeing her. She is (rightly) stated to have been too trusting of a complete stranger. This is followed by a short example of a more cautious girl who tells a man at the door to use a neighbors phone.
Secondly two girls are offered a ride home from the theater from a couple of older boys. One of them wisely rejects the offer, but unwisely fails to tell anyone else that her friend accepted. Again being too trusting of unfamiliar people is the cause, though the fact that they were "older boys" is mentioned.
Lastly, a girl strikes up a friendship with an "older boy" ends up "in trouble" (Assumed to be pregnancy) and as a result is taken out of school and "placed under the care of [the] Juvenile Authority". What that entails is uncertain but sounds and appears appropriately ominous on screen. Girls are warned that older boys who take an interest in them may be maladjusted and "too demanding". Unfortunately this could have used elaboration rather than the apparent warning against ALL such "older boys".
In response to Marysz: I think their mothers and fathers were around, but these films focus on the times when they aren't. If either parent was around they would likely put a stop to some of these scenarios. The aim was to educate the viewers on what to do when there WASN'T a parent around to take advice from. Teen age has alot more of those times than previous years and advice was probably very helpful to many.
Finally, let me point out the musical score. Parts of it are questionable, but when the two boys drive "right past her house without stopping" it takes on a dangerous note that builds untill finally it becomes a ringing panic. Or that's how I read it. Effective, but not as good as the one in "Don't Talk to Strangers".
Subject: I feel sorry for anyone who buys into this garbage..
While I would perhaps agree with anyone who may have commented already that any person that would have sex with another person against their will, in particularly a child, is basically evil, this particular short has more to do with a dumbing down of children than it does anything else. A product of it's era no doubt, many films from this era would associate ideas that have nothing to do with something, and in this case sexuality, with things that have realistically little or NO connection with whatsoever, such as communism. And that is largely still done to this day.
Don't believe me?! Do a video search, YT for example, for communism, evolution, homosexuality, etc., and you will no doubt find videos that try to associate things that have nothing to do with one another. Religious fundamentalists, in particularly Christian fundamentalists in my experience, try to equate ideas that they have disdain for, communism for example, with homosexuality, pedophilia, evolution, pornography, gambling, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, socialism, interracial relationships, non-Christian religions, Catholicism, Mormonism, Judaism, etc. The counterpart to this short, "Boys Beware", is more hate-filled than this particular short is but, they both seek to obtain and maintain the same fear & hate mongering ideology and instill that into its audience.
It just goes to show the historical, religious, political, and social ignorances of the past still reside today in the minds of ppl today. It is apparent that these things, these ignorances, don't permeate the way that they used to. But, the fact that they are more obscure and less common in a way makes them more dangerous, more insidious, and more nefarious.
I really do feel a sense of pity for ppl that buy into this garbage.
Bizr Pix -
Subject: Punishment by law?
After viewing Sid Davis' Boys Beware, I just had to see his companion piece for girls. While not as entertaining as its counterpart, I couldn't help but notice that both unfortunate victims were not only sexually violated, they get screwed by the legal system as well! In Boys Beware, Jimmy turns in Ralph and gets probation and is released under his parents' custody (house arrest?). In Girls Beware, not only does Mary get pregnant, she is taken out of school and placed under the "guidance" of juvenile authorities! Here's the really f**ked up part: both kids confide in their parents beforehand, who promptly involve the police instead of discussing the problem with their offspring first. Well, maybe they did, but didn't like hearing the fact that they were to blame for ignoring their kids in the first place.
I'm surprised they didn't cover sexual predation by the girls' PE teacher! Oops. Wrong film.
Subject: Good during its era
For 1951, "GIrls Beware" was an excellent film for teenage girls. Well filmed and directed. Of course now the film seems dated, although some points still make sense.
Love thy neighbour -
Just when i was about to accept an offer to babysit, i see this movie. I think that says it all! And the whole older boys thing was a bit much! The movie basically says not to take an interest in older guys. And as i am in love with my older neighbour i didn't take to this movie!
Subject: Laugh until you drop, if you're strange like me.
Films like this make me want to fall out of my chair laughing. The idea is fine enough, but the methods of explaining getting pregnant and being raped are so roundabout to our 2000's-era minds that the attempt at creating a brooding tone just turns comic.
Show this to your significant other if you two need a nostalgic chuckle some day. Worth downloading.
dan b -
Subject: Girls Beware
A cool but sobering glimpse of some of the dangers of being a teenage girl in the late 50's. The visuals are great in this film, like the drive in diner, the custom pickup truck and the teens themselves. I guess the warnings were and still are valid, but I can't help but think that movies like this probably encouraged unwise behaviour as much as discouraged it. A great watch!
Steve Nordby -
Subject: This ain't no picnic
The paranoia here is down just slightly from Boys Beware. Although the first example is an adult, the focus is on boys who like younger girls, so they are obviously sick and maladjusted. Highlight: the announcer says "she complied with his desires," the camera jerkily pans up to the sky and next thing you know she's off to the juvie.
Subject: Oh the horrors! Oh the music!
Great little scare film, underscored with a great hep music score, teaches kids about the dangers of catching rides with strangers, letting strangers into the house, talking to strange people, and, in the best and last part, dating older boys. With a cast of unbelievably homely girls and horny boys, this film will not dissapoint. All is told at the last part of the last segment.. You'll find yourself in "trouble", be taken out of school, and put under the care of the Juvenile Authority! This of course, is a MUST SEE on this site.. But beeeeeeewaaaaare!